tv Vice Presidential Debate CNBC October 11, 2012 9:00pm-10:30pm EDT
>> oh, my god. you got is a half hour? >> no. >> basically saying things in ways normal people wouldn't understand. the vice president would say you go out of my office now and explain that to my secretary and if she gets it i'll be amazed. >> we love the nerds around here. john, final thoughts before we get into this debate? >> i'm just looking, becky, for how aggressively lly joe biden after things his boss left on the table last week, bain capital, 47% video, auto bailout and how aggressively he pursues women voters raising the romney/ryan record on abortion and other issues related to women. >> do you think the onus is more on biden to offense? ryan the luxury of sitting back and riding the momentum that's happened since the first debate? >> i think biden does need to go on office but to some degree the bar is higher for paul ryan. in these guys tie which i think
they will do it will be a wash, biden has succeeded in stemming the bleeding from the democratic base. and so to that degree, paul can't just go out and be equal to biden. he has to go out and be better than biden. >> he has to be on message. team romney is on a roll, is on a roll and the last week he's on a roll in the polls. that's why i'm saying ryan, he's got to be polite and respectful but on message and i believe economic growth and jobs, is the message. >> he has to have his youth. needs to let his youth take advantage of the full scope of what that energy can bring to the seat. >> there's youth and there's -- -- >> go to cnbc.com. the vice presidential debate is about to start. here's abc's martha raddatz. >> good evening and welcome to the first and only vice presidential debate of 2012 sponsored by the commission on presidential debates.
i'm martha raddatz of abc news and i am honored to moderate this debate between two men who have dedicated much of their lives to public service. tonight's debate is divided between domestic and foreign policy issues and i'm going to move back and forth between foreign and domestic since that is what vice president or president would have to do. at the beginning of each segment i will ask both candidates a question and they will each have two minutes to answer. then i will encourage a discussion between the candidates with follow-up questions. by coin toss, it has been determined that vice president biden will be first to answer the opening question. the audience here at center college tonight. you will no doubt hear their enthusiasm at the end of the date debate as we welcome vice president joe biden and congressman paul ryan. [ applause ]
>> very nice to see you. very nice to see you. >> how are you doing? >> you got your little wave to the families in. that's great. good evening, gentlemen. it really is an honor to be here with both of you. i would like to begin with libya, on a rather somber note, one month ago tonight on the anniversary of 9/11, ambassador chris stevens and three other brave americans were killed in a terrorist attack in benghazi. the state department has now made clear there were no protesters there. it was a preplanned assault by heavily armed men. wasn't this a massive intelligence failure, vice president biden? >> it was a tragedy. chris stevens was one of our best. we lost three other brave
americans. i can make absolutely two commitments to you and all the american people tonight. one, we will find and bring to justice the men who did this. and secondly we will get to the bottom of it. wherever the facts lead us, wherever they lead us, we will make clear to the american public because whatever mistakes were made will not be made again. when you're looking at a president, martha, it seems to me that you should take a look at his most important responsibility, that's caring for the massive security of the country. the best way to do that is take a look at how had he's handled the issues of the day. in iraq the president said he would end the war. governor romney said that was a tragic mistake, we should have left -- he ended it. governor romney said that was a tragic mistake. we should have left 30,000 troops. with regard to afghanistan, he said he will end the war in 2014. governor romney said we should not set a date. number one. and number two, with regard to 2014, it depends. when it came to osama bin laden,
the president the first day in office, i was sitting with him in the oval office, he called in the cia and signed an order saying my highest priority is to get bin laden. prior to the election, prior to him being sworn in governor romney was asked the question about how he would proceed. he said i wouldn't move heaven and earth to get bin laden. he didn't understand it was more about taking a murderer off the battlefield. it was about restore america's heart and letting terrorists around the world know if you do harm to america we will track you to the gates of hell if need be. lastly, the president of the united states has led with a steady hand and clear vision. governor romney, the opposite. the last thing we need now is another war. >> congressman ryan? >> we mourn the loss of these four americans who were murdered. when you take a look at what has happened just in the last few weeks, they sent the u.n. ambassador out to say that this
was because of a protest and a youtube video. it took the president two weeks to acknowledge that this was a terrorist attack. he went to the u.n. and in his speech at the u.n. he said six times he talked about the youtube video. look, if we're hit by terrorists we're going to call it for what it is, a terrorist attack. our ambassador in paris has a marine detachment guarding him. shouldn't we have a marine detachment guarding our ambassador in benghazi, a place where we knew there was an al qaeda cell with arms? this is becoming more troubling by the day. first blame the youtube video and now trying to blame the romney/ryan ticket for making this an issue. with respect to iraq we have the same position before the withdraw which was we agreed with the obama administration, let's have a force agreement to make sure we secure our gains. the vice president was put in charge of those negotiations by
president obama and he failed to get the agreement. we don't have a status of forces agreement because they failed to get one. that's what we are talking about. when it comes to our veterans we owe them a great debt of gratitude for what they've done for us, including your son beau, but we don't want to lose the things we fought hard to get. afghanistan, the 2014 deadline we agree with the 2014 transition but what we also want to do is make sure we're not projecting weakness abroad. that's what's happening here. this benghazi issue would be a tragedy in and of itself but unfortunately it's indicative of a broader problem. and that is, what we're watching on our tv screens is the unraveling of the obama foreign policy. which is making the world more chaotic and us less safe. >> i just want to talk to you about right in the middle of the crisis. governor romney and you're talking about this again tonight, talked about the weakness, talked about apologies
from the obama administration. was that really appropriate right in the middle of the crisis? >> on that same day, the obama administration had the exact same position. let's recall that they disavowed their own statement that they had put out earl earlier in the day in cairo. we had the same position. it's never too early to speak out for our values. we should have spoken out right away when the green revolution was up and starting when the mullahs in iran were attacking their people. we should not have called bashar al assad a reformer when he was providing guns on his own people. we should always stand up for pea peace, for democracy, for individual rights. and we should not be imposing these devastating defense cuts because what that does, when we ekwiv cate on our values, show that we're cutting our own defense, it makes us more weak, it projects weakness. when we look weak our adversaries are willing to test us and our allies are willing to test -- >> with all due respect that's a
bunch of mularkemularkey. not a single thing he said is accurate. >> be specific. >> i will be very specific. number one, this lecture on embassy security, the congressman here cut embassy security in his budget by $300 million below what we asked for. number one. so much for the embassy security piece. number two, governor romney, before he knew the facts, before he even knew that our ambassador was killed, he was out making a political statement which was panned by the media around the world. an this talk about this weakness, i don't understand what my friend is talking about here. we -- this is a president who's gone out and done everything he has said had he was going to do. this is a guy who's repaired our alliances so the rest of the world follows us again. this is a guy who brought the entire world, including russia and china, to bring about the most devastating, most devastating -- the most
devastating efforts on iran to make sure that they, in fact, stop what they're doing. look, i just -- i mean these guys bet against america all the time. >> let me go back to libya. >> sure. >> what were you first told about the attack? why -- why were people talking about protests when people in the consulate first saw armed men attacking with guns? there were no protesters. why did that go on for weeks? >> that's exactly what we were told by the intelligence community. >> by who? >> the intelligence community told us that as they learned more facts about exactly what happened, they changed their assessment. that's why there's also an investigation headed by tom pickering, a leading diplomat from the reagan years, who is doing an investigation as to whether or not there are any lapses, what the lapses were, so that they will never happen again. >> and they wanted more security there. >> well, we weren't told they wanted more security. we did not know they wanted more security again. and by the way, at the time, we
were told exactly -- we said exactly what the intelligence community told us that they knew. that was the assessment. and as the intelligence community changed their view, we made it clear they changed their view. that's why i said, we will get to the bottom of this. you know, usually when there's a crisis we pull together. we pull together as a nation. but as i said, even before we knew what happened to the ambassador the governor is holding a press conference, was holding a press conference. that's not presidential leadership. >> mr. ryan, i want to ask you about the romney campaign talks a lot about no apologies, he has a book called "no apologies." should the u.s. have apologized for americans burning korans in afghanistan? should the u.s. apologize for u.s. marines urinating on taliban corporatises? >> oh, gosh yes. we should not apologize for -- >> burning korans. >> what we should not be apologizing for are not standing up for our values. we vuds not be saying to the
egyptian people while mubarak is cracking down on them he's a good guy and the next week say he ought to go. what we should not be doing is rejecting claims for calls for more security in our barracks and marines. we need marines in benghazi when the commander on the ground says we need more forces for security. there were requests for extra security. those requests were not honored. look, this was the anniversary of 9/11. it was libya. a country we knew we had al qaeda cells there as we know al qaeda and its affiliates are on the rise in northern africa, and we did not give our ambassador in benghazi a marine detachment. of course there's an investigation so we can make sure this never happens again. but when it comes to speaking up for our values we should not apologize for those. here's the problem. look at all the various issues out there and it's unraveling before our eyes. the vice president talks about sanctions on iran -- >> let's move to iran. i would like to move to iran
because there's no bigger national security. >> absolutely. >> this country is facing. both president obama and governor romney have said they would prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. even if that means military action. last week, form er defense secretary bob gates said a strike on iran's facilities would not work and, quote, could prove catastrophic haunting us for generations. can the two of you be absolutely clear and specific to the american people how effective would a military strike be? >> congressman ryan? >> we cannot allow iran to gain a nuclear weapons capability. now, let's take a look at where we've come from. when barack obama was elected, they had enough fissile material, nuclear material, to make one bomb. now they have enough for five. they're racing toward a nuclear weapon. they're four years closer towards a nuclear weapons capability. we've had four different sanctions at the u.n. and iran, three from the bush administration, one here, and the only reason we got it
because russia watered it down and prevented the sanctions from hitting the cen brawl bank. congress i've been fighting for these sanctions since 2009. the administration was blocking us every step of the way only because we had strong bipartisan support for these tough sanctions were we able to overrule their objections and put them in spite of the administration. imagine what would have happened if we had these sanctions in place earlier. do you think iran is not brai p braisep braisepen? look at what they're doing. they're stepping up their terrorist attack. they tried a terrorist attack in the united states last year when they tried to blow up the saudi ambassador at a restaurant in washington, d.c. talk about credibility when this administration says all options are on the table they send out senior administration officials that send all these mixed signals. and so in order to solve this peacefully which is everybody's goal, you have to have the ayatollah's change their minds. look where they are, they're moving faster toward a nuclear weapon. because this administration has no credibility on this issue.
because this administration watered down sanctions, delayed sanctions tried to stop us from putting the tough sanctions in place. now we have them because of congress. it's not being viewed as credible and the key is to do this peacefully to make sure we have credibility. under a romney administration we will have credibility on this issue. >> vice president biden? >> it's incredible. look, imagine had we let republican congress work out the sanctions. you think there's any possibility the entire world would have joined us? russia and china? all of our allies? these are the most crippling sanctions in the history of sanctions. period. period. when governor romney's asked about it he said we got to keep these sanctions. when you say you're talking about doing more, are you going to go to war? >> we want to prevent war. >> the interesting thing is how they're going to prevent war. how are they going to prevent war if they say there's nothing
more they say what we should do than what we've done. number two, with regard to the ability of the united states to take action militarily, it is not in my per view to talk about classified information, but we feel quite confident we can deal a serious blow to the iranians. number two, the iranians are the israelis and the united states our military and intelligence communities are the same exact place in terms of how close, how closeranians are to getting a nuclear weapon. they are a good way away. no difference between our view and theirs. when my friend talks about fissile material, they have to take this highly enriched uranium, get it from 20% up and then have to be able to have something to put it in. there is no weapon that the iranians have at this point. both the israelis and we know we'll know if they start the process of building a weapon.
so all this bluster i keep hearing, all this loose talk, what are they talking about? are you talking about to be more credible, what more can the president do, stand before the united nations, tell the whole world, directly communicate to the ayatollah we will not let them acquire a nuclear weapon. period. unless he's talking about going to war. >> martha, let's just -- >> congressman ryan. >> let's look at this from the view of the ayatollahs. what do they see? they see this administration trying to water down sanctions in congress for over two years. they're moving faster toward a nuclear weapon. they're spinning centrifuges faster. they see us saying when we come into the administration when they're sworn in, we need more space with our ally israel. they see president obama and new york city the same day netanyahu is, instead of meeting him goes on a daily talk show. they see when we say that these options aren on the table, the secretary of defense walk them
back. they are not changing their mind. that's what we have to do is change their mind so they stop pursuing nuclear weapons. >> how do you do it so quickly? look you both saw benjamin netanyahu hold up that picture of a bomb with a red line and talking about the red line being in spring. so, can you solve this? if the romney/ryan ticket is elected, can you solve this in two months before spring and avoid nuclear -- >> we can debate the timeline, whether there's -- it's that short of time or longer. i agree that it's probably longer. number two, it's all about -- >> you don't agree with that bomb and what the israelis want to do -- >> i don't want to go into classified stuff but we both agree that to do this peacefully you have to get them to change their minds. they're not changing their minds and look at what this administration does. >> let me tell you what the ayatollah sees, he sees his economy being crippled.
the ayatollah sees that there are 50% fewer exports of oil. he sees the currency going into the tank. he sees the economy going into the freefall and he sees the world for the first time totally united in opposition to him getting a nuclear weapon. now with regard to b.b., my friend for 39 years, the president has met with b.b. a dozen times. he spoke to b.b. netanyahu as much as he's spoken to anybody. the idea we're not -- i was in just before he went to the u.n., i was in a conference call with the president or with him talking to brj b. well over an hour and stark relief and detail of what was going on. this is a bunch of stuff. look, here's the deal -- >> what does that mean a bunch of stuff. >> it means it's simply inaccurate. >> it's irish. >> it is. >> we irish call it mularkey. >> okay. >> we call it mularkey. the secretary of defense has made it absolutely -- didn't walk anything back. we will not allow the iranians
to get a nuclear weapon. what b.b. held up there was, when they get to the point where they can enrich uranium enough to put into a weapon. they don't have a weapon to put it into. let's all calm down a little bit here. iran is more isolated today than when we took office. it was on the ascendancy when we took office. it is totally isolated. >> what world these guys are in. >> thank heavens we had these sanctions in place. it's in spite of their opposition. they've given 20 waivers to this and all i have to point is the results they're four years closer to a nuclear weapon. >> can you tell the american people what's worse, another war in the middle east -- >> they are not closer to a nuclear weapon. they are closer to being able to get enough fissile material to put in a weapon if they had a weapon. >> you're acting a little bit like they don't want one. >> i'm not saying that. facts matter, martha. you're a foreign policy expert.
facts matter. all this loose talk about them, all they have to do is get to enrich uranium in a certain amount and have a weapon. not true. not true. they are more -- and if we ever have to take an saction unlike when we took office we will have the world behind us. that matters. that matters. >> what about bob gates' statement? let me read that again. could prove catastrophic haunting us for generations. >> he is right. it could prove catastrophic if we didn't do it with precision. >> what it does, undermines our credibility by backing up the point when we make it that all options are on the table. that's the point. the ayatollah see these kinds of statements and think i'm going to get a nuclear weapon. when we see the kind of eequivocation that took place because this administration wanted a precondition policy when the revolution started up they were silent for nine days, when they see us putting
desperate -- daylight between ourselves and our allies in israel, that gives them encouragement. when they see russia watering down any further sanctions, the only reason we got a u.n. sanction because russia watered it down and prevented these sanctions in the first place so when they see this kind of activity, they are encouraged to continue and that's the problem. >> martha -- >> let me ask you what's worse, war in the middle east, another war in the middle east? >> i'll tell you -- >> or nuclear armed iran. >> i'll tell you what's worse. a nuclear armed iran which triggers a nuclear race in the middle east. this is the world's largest sponsor of terrorism. they've dedicated themselves to wiping a country off the map. they call us the great satan. other people in the neighborhood will pursue their nuclear weapons as well. we can't live with that. >> vice president biden? >> war should always be the absolute last resort. that's why these crippling sanctions with b.b. netanyahu says we should continue, which
if i'm not mistaken governor romney says we should continue, and if -- i may be mistaken he changes his mind so often i could be wrong, but the fact of the matter is, had he says they are working and the fact is, that they are being crippled by them and we've made it clear, big nations can't bluff. this president doesn't bluff. >> i want to bring the conversation to a different kind of national security issue. the state of our economy. the number one issue here at home is jobs. the percentage of enemployed just fell below 8% for the if irs time in 43 months. the obama administration had projected that it would fall below 6% now after the addition of close to a trillion dollars in stimulus money. so, will both of you level with the american people, can you get unemployment to under 6% and how long will it take? >> i don't know how long it will take. we can and will get it under 6%.
take a look at the facts. let's look at where we were when we came to office. the economy was in free fall, we had the great recession hit. 9 million people lost their job. 1.7 -- $1.6 trillion in wealth lost in equity in your homes and retirement accounts for the middle class. we knew we had to act for the middle class. we immediately went out and rescued general motors. we went ahead and made sure that we cut taxes for the middle class. and in addition to that, when that occurred, what did romney do? romney said no, let detroit go bankrupt. we moved in and helped people refinance their homes. governor romney said no, let foreclosures hit the bottom. it shouldn't be surprising for a guy who says 47% of the american people are unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives. my friend recently in his speech in washington said 30% of the american people are takers. these people are my mom and dad, the people i grew up with, my neighbors. they pay had more effective tax
than governor romney pays in his federal income tax. they are elderly people who, in fact, are living off of social security, veterans and people fighting in afghanistan right now who are, quote, not paying any taxes. i've lad it up to here with this notion that 47% -- it's about time they take some responsibility here. and instead of signing pledges to grover norquist not to ask the wealthiest among us to contribute to bring back the middle class, they should be signing a pledge saying to the middle class, we're going to level the playing field, we're going to give you a fair shot again, we are going to not repeat the mistakes we made in the past by having a different set of rules for wall street and main street. making sure that we continue to hemorrhage these tax cuts for the super wealthy. they're pushing a continuation of a tax cut that will give an additional $500 billion in tax cuts to 120,000 families. and they're holding hostage the middle class tax cut because they say we won't pass, we won't
continue the middle class tax cut unless you give the tax cut for the super wealthy. it's about time they take some responsibility. >> mr. ryan. >> joe and i are from similar towns. he's from scranton, pennsylvania, i'm from janesville, wisconsin. you know what the unemployment rate in scranton is today? >> sure do. >> it's 10%. >> the day it was when you came in, 8.5%. >> you don't read the statistics that's not how it's going. it's going down. >> this is two-minute answer, please. >> look, did they come in and inherit a tough situation? absolutely. we're going in the wrong direction. look at where we are. the economy is barely limping along, growing at 1.3%. that's slower than it grew last year and last year slower than the year before. job growth in september was slower than it was in august and august slower than it was in july. we're heading in the wrong direction. 23 million americans are struggling for work today.
15% of americans are living in poverty today. this is not what a real recovery looks like. we need real reforms for real recovery and that's what mitt romney and i are proposing. a five-point plan, get america energy independent in north america by the end of the decade, help people hurting get the skills they need to get the jobs they want, get this deficit and debt under control to prevent a debt crisis, make trade work for america to make more things in america and sell them overseas and champion small businesses. don't raise taxes on small businesses bus they're our jobts creators. talks about detroit, mitt romney is a car guy. they keep misquoting him. let me tell you about the mitt romney i now. this is a guy who i was talking to a family in north borrow, massachusetts, the other day, cheryl and mark nixon, their kids were hit in a car crash four of them two of them rob and reid, were paralyzed. the romneys didn't know them. they went to the same church, never met before. mitt asked if he could come over
on christmas. he brought his boys, his wife, and gifts. later on he said i know you're struggling, mark, don't worry about their college, i'll pay for it. when mark told me this story, mitt romney doesn't tell these stories, the nixons told this story. he said it wasn't the help, the cash help, it's that he gave his time and has consistently. this is a man who gave 30% of his income to charity, more than the two of us combined. mitt romney is a good man. he cares about 100% of americans in this country. with respect to that quote, i think the vice president very well knows that sometimes the words don't come out of your mouth the right way. >> i always say what i mean. and so does romney. >> we want everybody to succeed and we want to get people out of poverty in the middle class under self-sufficiency. we believe in opportunity and mobility and that's what we're going to push for in a romney administration. >> mr. vice president, i have a
feeling you have a few things to say here. >> the idea if you heard that little soliloquy on 47% you think he just made a mistake, then i think you're -- i think -- i got a bridge to sell you. look, i don't doubt his personal generosity and i understand what it's like. when i was a little younger than the congressman, my wife was in an accident, killed my daughter and my wife and my two sons survived. i have sat in the homes of many people who have gone through what i go through because the one thing you can give people solace is to know they know you've been through it they can make it. i don't doubt his personal commitment to individuals. but you know what, i know he had no commitment to the automobile industry. he just let -- he said let it go bankrupt, period. let it drop out. all this talk, we saved a million jobs. 200,000 people are working today.
and i've never met two guys more down on america across the board, we're told everything is going badly. 5.2 million new jobs, private sector jobs. we need more. 5.2 million. if they would get out of the way, get out of the way and let us pass the tax cut for the middle class, make it permanent, if they would get out of the way and pass the jobs bill f they would get out of the way and let us allow 14 million people struggling to stay in their homes because their mortgages are upside down but never missed a payment, get out of the way, stop talking about how you care about people, show me something. s show me a policy where you take responsibility and by the way, they talk about this great recession if it fell out of the sky like oh, my goodness, where did it come from? it came from this man voting to put two wars on a credit card, at the same time put a prescription drug benefit on the credit card, trillion dollar tax cut for the very wealthy. i was there, i voted against
them. i said no, we can't afford that. and now all of a sudden these guys are so seized with the concern about the debt, that they created. >> congressman ryan. >> let's not forget that they came in with one party control. when barack obama was elected his party controlled everything, they had the ability to do everything of their choosing and look at where we are right now. they passed the stimulus. the idea we could borrow $831 billion, spend it on all the special interest groups and it would work out just fine. that unemployment would never get to 8%. it went above 8% for 43 months. right now if we just pass the stimulus, the economy would grow at 4%. it's growing at 1.3%. >> when can you get it below 6 %? >> that's what the premise for our pro growth plan for middle class is about. getting the economy growing at 4%, creating 12 million jobs over the next four years. look at the $90 billion in stimulus. the vice president was in charge of overseeing this.
$90 billion in green pork to campaign contributors and special interest groups. there are just at the department of energy, over 100 criminal investigations that have been launched in how stimulus is being spent. >> martha look -- this capital investigative committee spent months and months -- >> this is the inspector general. >> they found no evidence of cronyism. and i love my friend here, i -- i'm not allowed to show letters but go on our website had he sent me two letters saying by the way, can you send me some stimulus money for companies here in the state of wisconsin. we sent millions of dollars. you know why he said -- >> you did ask for stimulus money. >> on two occasions we advocated for constituents applying for grants. that's what we do. we do that for all constituents. >> i love that. this is such a bad program and he write mess a letter saying -- writes the department saying, the reason we need this stimulus, it will create growth and jobs. he -- his words.
and now he's sitting here looking at me -- by the way, that program, again, investigated, what the congress said was, it was a model, less than four-tents of 1% waste or fraud in the program. and all this talk about cronyism, they investigated and investigated and did not find one single piece of evidence. i wish he would just tell -- be a little more candid. >> was it a good idea to spend taxpayer dollars on electric cars in finland or on wind mills in china? >> look. >> a good idea to bore are this money from countries like china and spend it on all these interest groups. >> it was a good idea moody's and others said this is what we needed to stop this from going off the cliff. set the conditions to be able to grow again. we have, in fact, 4% of those green jobs didn't go under -- didn't work. it's a better batting average than investment bankers they have about 40% -- >> i want to move on here to
medicare and entitlements. i think wave gone over this quite enough. >> by the way, any letter you send me i'll entertain that. >> i appreciate that, joe. >> let's talk about medicare and entitlements. both medicare and social security are going broke and taking a larger share of the budget in the process. will benefits for americans under these programs have to change for the programs to survive? mr. ryan? >> absolutely. medicare and social security are going bankrupt. these are indisputable facts. look at these programs, we've had tragedies in our lives. i think about what they've done for our own family. my mom and i had my grandmother move in with us when phasing alzheimer's. just like it's there for my mom. my mom and i got social security survivor benefits, helped her go back to college in her 50s where she started a small business because of the new skills she got, she paid all of had her taxes on the promise that these
programs would be there for her. we will honor this promise. and the best way to do it, is reform it for my generation. you see, if you reform these programs for my generation, people 54 and below, you can guarantee they don't change for people in or near retirement which is prely what mitt romney and i are proposing. look what obama care does. obama care takes $716 billion from medicare to spend on obama care. even their own chief ac query of medicare backs this up. he says you can't spend the same dollar twice. can't claim this goes to medicare and obama care. and then they put this new obama care board in charge of cutting medicare each and every year in ways that will lead to denied care for current seniors. this board by the way it's 15 people, the president's supposed to appoint them next year and not one has to have medical training. social security if we don't shore up social security when we run out of the ious, the program goes bankrupt, a 25% across the board benefit cut kicks in on
current seniors in the middle of their retirement. we're going to stop that from happening. they haven't put a credible solution on the table. he'll tell you about vouchers and say these things to try to scare people, here's what we're saying. give younger people when they become medicare eligible guaranteed coverage options that you can't be denied including traditional medicare. choose your plan and then medicare subsidizes your premiums not as much for the wealthy people, more coverage for middle-income people and total out of pocket coverage for the poor and sick. choice and competition. we would rather have 50 million future seniors determine how their medicare is delivered to them instead of 15 bureaucrats deciding what if, where, when they get it. >> vice president biden. >> i heard that death panel argument from sarah palin. seems like every vice presidential debate i hear this stuff about panels. let's talk about medicare. what we did is we saved $716 billion and put it back applied it to medicare. we cut the cost of medicare.
we stopped overpaying insurance companies. when doctors and hospitals, the ama supported what we did. aarp endorsed what we did. and it extends the life of medicare to 2024. they want to wipe this all out. it also gave more benefits. any senior out there, ask yourself, do you have more benefits today? you do. if you're near the doughnut hole you have $600 more to help your prescription drug cost. you get wellness visits without co-pays. they wipe all of this out and medicare goes -- becomes insolvent in 2016. number one. number two, guaranteed benefit. it's a voucher. when they first proposed when the congressman had his first voucher program, the cbo said it would cost $6,400 a year, martha, more for every senior 55 and below when they got there. he knew that. yet he got all the guys in congress and women in the republican party to vote for it. governor romney knowing that
said, i would sign it were i there. who do you believe? the ama, me, a guy who's fought his whole life for this or somebody who would actually put in motion a plan that knowingly cuts -- added $6,400 a year more to the cost of medicare? now they got a new plan. trust me, it's not going to cost you anymore. folks, follow your instincts on this one. and with regard to social security, we will not -- we will not privatize it. if we listened to romney, governor romney and the congressman, during the bush years, imagine where all those seniors would be now if their money had been in the market. their ideas are old and their ideas are bad and they eliminate the guarantee of medicare. >> here's the problem. they got caught with their hands in the cookie jar, turning medicare into a piggy bank for obama care. their own actuary from the administration came to congress and said one out of six
hospitals and nursing homes are going to go out of business as a result of this. >> that's not what they said. >> 7.4 million seniors are projected to lose the current medicare advantage they have, that's a $3200 benefit cut. >> that didn't happen. more people signed up. >> these are from your own. >> more people signed up for medicare advantage after the change. nobody is -- >> mr. vice president, i know -- >> no. this is -- >> i know you're under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground. but i think people would be better served if we don't keep interrupting each other. >> don't take all the four minutes then. >> don't change benefits for 55 and above. >> they already are. >> let me ask you this. what is your specific plan for seniors who really can't afford to make up the difference in the value of what you call a premium support plan and others call a voucher? >> 100% coverage for them. that's what we're saying. we're saying -- >> how do you make that up? >> by taking down the subsidies for wealthy people.
look -- this is a plan by the way that $6400 number was misleading then, totally inaccurate now. this is a plan that's bipartisan. it's a plan i put together with a prominent democrat senator from oregon. >> not one democrat who endorses. not one who signed the plan. >> our partner is a democrat from oregon. >> he said he does no longer support you for that. >> we put it together with the former clinton budget director. >> who disavows it. >> this idea came from the clinton commission to save medicare chaired by senator john bro. here's the point. >> which was rejected. >> if we don't fix this problem pretty soon then current seniors get cut. here's the problem, 10,000 people are retiring every day in america today, and they will for 20 years. that's not a political thing. >> if we just did one thing, if we just -- if they just allow medicare to bargain for the cost of drugs like medicaid can, that would save $156 billion. right off the bat. >> it would denied seniors
choices. >> seniors are not denied. >> absolutely. >> they are not denied. folks, all you seniors out there, have you been denied choices? lost medicare advantage? >> it's working right now. >> because -- >> vice president biden, let me ask you, if it could help solve the problem, why not very slowly raise the medicare eligibility age by two years as congressman ryan suggests? >> look, i was there when we did 1983.with social security in i was one of eight people sitting in the room that included tip o'neill, negotiating with president reagan. we all got together and everybody said as long as everybody's in the deal, everybody's in the deal, and everybody is making some sacrifice we can find a way. we made the system solvent to 2033. we will not, though, be part of any voucher plan eliminating it. the voucher says mom, when you're 65, go out there, shop for the best insurance you can get, you're out of medicare, you
can buy back in if you want with this voucher which will not keep pace, will not keep pace with health care costs because if it did keep pace, there would be no savings. that's why they go the voucher. they -- we will be no part of a voucher program or the privatization of social security. >> the voucher is you go to your mailbox, get a check and buy something. nobody is proposing that. barack obama four years ago running for president said, if you don't have any fresh ideas use stale tactics to scare voters. if you don't have a good record to run on, paint your opponent as someone people should run from. >> you were one of the few lawmakers to stand with president bush when he was seeking to partially privatize social security. >> for younger people. what we said then and what i've always agreed let younger americans have a voluntary choice of making their money work faster for them within the social security system. >> you saw how well that worked. >> what we're saying is, no changes for anybody 55 and
above. >> what mitt romney is proposing -- >> the kinds of changes we're talking about for younger people like myself don't increase the benefits for wealthy people as fast as everybody else, slowly raise the retirement age over time. it wouldn't get to the age of 70 until 2103. >> quickly, vice president. >> quickly, the bottom line here is, that all the studies show if we went with social security proposal made by mitt romney, if you're 40 -- in your 40s now you will pay $2600 a year more -- you get $2600 a year less in social security. if your 20s you get $4700 less. the idea of changing and change being in this case to cut the benefits for people without taking other action you could do to make it work is absolutely the wrong way. these -- look, these guys haven't been big on medicare from the beginning. their party has not been big on medicare from the beginning and always been about social security as little as you can do. look, folks, use your common sense.
who do you trust on this? a man who introduced a bill that would raise it -- $6400 a year, knowing it and passing it and romney saying he'd sign it or me and the president? >> that statistic was completely misleading. more importantly -- >> they are the facts. >> this is what politicians do when they don't have a record to run on. try to scare people from voting for you. if you don't get ahead of this problem it's going to -- >> medicare beneficiary -- >> we're going to move on. very simple question to you both. >> medicare and social security did so much for my own family we are not going to jeopardize this program but we have to save it. >> you are jeopardizing the program, you're changing the program from a guaranteed benefit to a premium support, whatever you call it, the bottom line is people will have to pay more money out of their pocket and 79 fa families i know and come from don't have the money to pay more. >> that's why we're saying more for lower income people and less for higher income people. >> i would like to move on to a simple question for both of you and something tells me i won't
get a very simple answer. but let me ask you this. >> i gave you a simple answer. he's raising the cost of medicare. >> on to taxes if your ticket is elected who will pay more, who will pay less. starting with vice president biden for two minutes. >> the middle class will pay less and people making a million dollars or more will begin to contribute slightly more. let me give you one example. the continuation of the bush tax cuts, we are arguing that the bush tax cuts for the wealthy should be allowed to expire. of the bush tax cuts for the wealthy, $800 billion of that goes to people making minimum of a million dollars. we see no justification in these economic times for those -- they're patriotic americans, not asking for this continued tax cut, they're not suggesting it, but my friends are insisting on it. 120,000 families by continuing that tax cut, will get an additional $500 billion in tax relief in the next ten years and their income is an average of $8
million. we want to extend permanently the middle class tax cut for permanently. from the bush middle class tax cuts. these guys won't allow us to. we say let's have a vote. let's have a vote on the middle class tax cut and have a vote on the upper tax cut. let's go ahead and vote on it. they're saying no. they're holding hostage the middle class tax cut to the super wealthy. and on top of that they have another tax cut coming. that's $5 trillion that all the studies point out will, in fact, give another $250 million -- yeah, $250,000 a year to those 120,000 families and raise taxes for people who are middle income with a child by $2,000 a year. this is unconscionable. there is no need for this. the middle class got knocked on their heels, the great recession crushed them, they need some help now. the last people who need help are 120,000 families for
another, another $500 billion tax cut over the next ten years. >> congressman. >> our entire premise of these tax reform plans is to grow the economy and create jobs. it's a plan that's estimated to create 7 million jobs. now, we think that government taking 28% of the family and businesses income is enough. look if you taxed every person in successful small business making over $250,000 at 100%, it would only run the government for 98 days. if everybody who paid income taxes last year doubled their income taxes this year, we'd still have a $300 billion deficit. you see, there aren't enough rich people and small businesses to tax to pay for all their spending. the next time you hear them say
don't worry about it, we'll get a few wealthy people to pay their share, watch out middle class the tax bill is coming to you. that's why we're saying, we need fundamental tax reform. take a look at it this way, eight out of ten businesses file their taxes as individuals not as corporations. where i come from oversees, lake superior, the canadians, they dropped their tax rates to 15%. the average tax rate on businesses in industrialized world is 25% and the president wants the top effective tax rate on successful small businesses to go above 40%. two-thirds of our jobs come from small businesses. this one tax would actually tax about 53% of small business income. it's expected to cost us 710,000 jobs. and you know what, it doesn't even pay for 10% of their proposed defpending increases. what we are saying is, lower tax rates across the board and close loopholes primarily to the higher income people.
we have three bottom lines. don't raise the deficit. don't raise taxes on the middle class. and don't lower the share of nblg that is born by the high income earners. he'll say this $5 trillion plan i suppose, it's been discredited by six other studies and even their own deputy campaign manager acknowledged it wasn't correct. >> well, let's talk about this 20%. you have refused and again, to offer specifics on how you would pay for that 20% across the board tax cut. do you actually have the specifics or are you still working on it and that's why you won't tell voters? >> different than this administration, we actually want to have big bipartisan agreements. you see, i understand -- >> do you have the specifics? do you have the math? you know what you're doing? >> [ inaudible ]. >> look at what ronald reagan and tip o'neill did, they worked together out of a framework to lower tax rates and broaden the base, and they worked together to fix that. what we're saying is, here's our framework. lower tax rates 20%.
we raise about $1.2 trillion through income taxes. we forgo about $1.1 trillion in loopholes and deduck haddions. what we're saying is deny those loopholes and deductions to higher income taxpayers so more of their income is taxed which has a broader base of taxation. >> can i translate? >> we can lower tax rates across the board. here's why i'm saying this. what we're saying -- >> i hope i get time to respond to this. >> you'll get time. >> we want to work with the congress on how best to achieve this. that means successful. >> no specifics again. >> what we're saying is lower tax rates 20%, start with the wealthy, work with congress to do it. >> you guarantee this math will add up. >> six studies have verified that this math adds up. >> vice president biden. >> look -- >> let me translate. let me have a chance to translate. >> i'll come back in a second. >> i was there when ronald reagan, he gave specifics to what he was going to cut. number one. in terms of tax expenditures. number two, 97% of the small businesses in america pay less
than -- make less than $250,000. let me tell you who some of the other small businesses are. had hedge funds. that make 6, $800 million a year. that's who they count as small businesses because they're passed through. how sincere they are, governor romney on "60 minutes" about ten days ago was asked, you paid 14% on $20 million. someone making $50,000 pays more than that. do you think that's fair. had he said oh, yes, that's fair. that's fair. and they're going to talk -- you think these guys are going to go out there and cut the loopholes? the loophole, the biggest loophole they take advantage of is the carried interest loopholes and capital gains loophole. they exempt that. the reason why the aei study, american enterprise study, the tax policy center study, the reason they all say it's going to tax -- taxes up on the middle class the only way you can find $5 trillion in loopholes is cut the mortgage deduction for
middle-class people. cut the health care deduction. middle-class people. take away their ability to get a tax break to send their kids to college. that's why -- >> he is wrong about that. >> how is that? >> you can cut tax rate business 20% and preserve these important preferences for middle class taxpayers. >> not mathematically possible. >> it is. it's been done before. it's what we're proposing. >> it has never been done before. >> it's been done a couple times. >> it has never. >> jack kennedy lowered tax rates and increased growth. >> now you're jack kennedy. >> this is amazing. >> republicans and democrats have worked together on this. >> that's right. >> i understand you guys aren't used to doing bipartisan deal. >> we told each other what we're going to do. here's what we're going to cut. >> we'll fill in the details. >> that's how you get things done. you work with congress. let me say it this way -- >> that's coming from a republican congress working bipartisanly? 7% rating? >> come on.
>> mitt romney was goench of massachusetts where 87% of the legislatures were democrats. he didn't denonize them. he didn't dem going to them. he met with those leaders, he reached across the aisles. >> you saw what happened. >> you saw what happened. if he did such a great job it. >> mr. vice president. >> without raising taxes. >> why isn't he contesting massachusetts? >> what would you suggest beyond raising taxes on the wealthy that would substantially reduce the long-term deficits? >> let taxes expire like they're supposed to on the millionaires. we can't afford $800 billion going to people making a minimum of a million dollars. they do not need it, martha. those 120,000 families make $8 million a year. middle-class people need the had help. why does my friend cut out the tuition tax credit for them, why does he go after child care? why do they do that? >> can you declare anything off
limits? >> close -- >> home mortgage deduction. >> for high income people. >> can you guarantee that no one making less than $100,000 would have a mortgage deduction impacted? >> this taxes a million small businesses. he keeps trying to make you think it's some movie star hedge fund guy -- >> 97% of the small businesses make less than $250,000. a year. it would not impacted one bit. >> this taxes a million people, million small businesses. >> does it tax 97% of the american businesses? small businesses? >> small businesses who are the greatest job creatorses? >> and you're going to increase the defense budget? and increase the defense. >> we're not going to cut the defense budget. >> $2 billion. >> $2 trillion. >> we're talking about preventing it. >> no massive -- >> we're saying -- >> defense increases. >> want to get into defense now? >> i do. >> because that's another math question. >> okay. >> how do you do that? >> so they proposed a $478 billion cut to defense to begin with.
now we have another $500 billion cut to defense that's lurking on the horizon. they insisted upon that cut being involved in the debt negotiations. let -- let's put the automatic defense cuts aside. >> okay. >> so we -- >> put those aside. no one wants that. i want to know how you do the math and have this increase in defense spending some. >> $2 trillion. >> you don't cut defense by a trillion dollars. that's what we're talking ability. >> what national security issue -- >> who's cutting it by a trillion? >> we're going to cut 80,000 soldiers, 20,000 marines, 120 cargo planes, we're going to push -- >> drawing down one war and one war -- >> if these cut goss through our navy will be the smallest it's been since before world war i. this invites weakness. look, do we believe in peace through strength? you bet we do. you don't impose these cuts on our military. don't cut the military by a trillion dollars. not increase it by a trillion.
don't but cut it by a trillion dollars. >> quickly vice president. >> we don't cut it. i might add this so-called ips know we don't want to use the fancy word sequester the automatic cut, that was part of a debt deal they asked for. what my friend said at a press conference announcing his support of the deal, we've been looking for this moment for a long time. >> can i tell you what that meant? >> we've been looking for bipartisan for a long time. >> what he voted for to automatic cuts in defense if they didn't act. and beyond that, they asked for another -- look, the military says, we need a smaller, leaner army. we need more special forces. we need -- we don't need more m1 tanks. what we need is more -- >> some of the military. >> not some of the military. that was the decision of the joint chiefs of staff. recommended to us and agreed to by the president. >> who answered to a civilian leader. >> they made the recommendation first. >> okay. let's move on to afghanistan.
>> can i get into that. >> i would like to move on to afghanistan. >> okay. >> that's one of the biggest expenditures this country has made. in dollars, and more importantly in lives. we just passed the sad milestone of losing 2,000 u.s. troops there in this war. more than 50 of them were killed this year by the very afghan forces we are trying to help. now we've reached the recruiting goal for afghan forces. we've degraded al qaeda. so tell me, why not leave now? what more can we really accomplish? is it worth more american lives? >> we don't want to lose the gains we've gotten. we want to make sure that the taliban does not come back in and give al qaeda a safe haven. we agree with the administration on their 2014 transition. look, when i think about afghanistan, i think about the incredible job that our troops have done. you've been there more than the two of us combined. first time i was there in 2002, it was a amazing to me what they were facing.
i went to the valley in kandahar before the surge, i sat down with a young private in the 82nd from the indian reservation who would tell me what he did every day and i was in awe. to see what they had in front of them and then to go in december helmand with the marines to see what they accomplished, it's nothing short of amazing. what we don't want to do is lose the gains we've gotten. now we've disagreed from time to time on a few issues. we would have more likely taken into account the recommendations from our commanders, general petraeus, admiral mullen, on troop levels through this fighting season. we've been skeptical about negotiations with the taliban while shooting at us. we want to see the 2014 transition be successful and means we want to make sure our commanders have what they need to make sure that it is successful so that this does not once again become a launching pad for terrorists. >> martha, let's keep our eye on the ball. the reason i've been in and out
of afghanistan and iraq 20 times. i've been up in the conar valley, throughout that whole country, mostly in a helicopter and sometimes in a vehicle. the fact is, we went there for one reason. to get those people who killed americans. al qaeda. we've decimated al qaeda central. we have eliminated osama bin laden. that was our purpose. and in fact, in the meantime what we said we would do, we would help train the afghan military. it's their responsibility to take over their own security. that's why with 49 of our allies in afghanistan, we've agreed on a gradual draw down so we're out of there by the year 20 -- in the year 2014. my friend and the governor say it's based on conditions. which means it depends. it does not depend for us. it is the responsibility of the
afghans to take care of their own security. we have trained over 315,000 mostly without incident. there have been more than two dozen cases of green on blue where americans have been killed. have been killed. have been if the measures the military has taken do not take hold, we will not go on joint patrols, we will not train in the field, we'll only train in the -- in the army bases that exist there. but we are leaving. we are leaving in 2014. period. in the process, we're going to be saving over the next 10 years another $800 billion. we've been in this war for over a decade. the primary objective is almost completed, now all we're doing is putting the kabul government in a position to be able to maintain their own security. it's their responsibility, not america's. >> what conditions could justify
staying, congressman ryan? >> we don't want to stay -- we want -- look, one of my best friends in janesville, a reservist is at a forward operating base in east afghanistan right now, our wives and daughters are best friends. i want him and all of our troops to come home as soon and safely as possible. we want to make sure that 2014 is successful. that's why we want to make sure that we give our commanders what they say they need to make it successful. we don't want to extend beyond 2014, that's the point we're making. if it was just, i feel like we could call this a success but it's not. what we are witnessing as we turn on our television screens these day this is absolute unraveling of the obama foreign policy. problems are growing at ho home -- problems are growing abroad but jobs aren't growing here at home. >> let me go back to this. he says we're absolutely leaving in 2014.
you're saying that's not an absolute but you won't talk about what conditions would justify -- >> do you know why we say that? because we don't want to broadcast to our enemy, but a date on your calendar, wait us out and then come back. >> you agree with the timeline? >> we do agree with the timeline and transition. what any administration will do in 2013 is assess the situation to see how best to complete this timeline. what we do not want to do -- >> we will leave in 2014. >> what we do not want to do is give our allies reason to trust us less and our enemies -- we don't want to embolden our enemies to hold and wait out for us and take over -- >> martha, that's a bizarre statement since 49 of our allies, hear me, 49 of our allies signed on to this position. >> and we're reading that they want -- >> 49. 49 of our allies said out in 2014. it's the responsibility of the
afghans. we have other responsibilities. >> which is which is what we agree with. >> we have% and we have afghan forces murdering our forces over there. the taliban is -- do you think, taking advantage of this timeline? >> look look, the talib taliban -- what we found o out -- you saw it in iraq, martha, unless you set a timeline, baghdad, in the case of iraq and kabul in the case of afghanistan, will not step up. they're happy to let us continue to do the job. international security forces do the job. the only way they step up is, say, fellow, we're leaving. we've trained you, step up. step up. >> let me go back. >> that's the only way it works. >> let me go back to the surge troops that we put in there. you brought this up, congressman ryan, i have talked to a lot of troops. i've talked to senior officers who were concerned that the
surge troops were pulled out during the fighting season and some of them saw that as a political -- as a political move. so can you tell me, vice president biden, what was the military reason for bringing those surge troops home before the fighting season ended? >> by the way, when the president announced the surge, you'll remember, martha, he said the surge will be out by the end of the summer. the military said, the surge will be out. nothing political about this. before the surge occurred. so you be a little straight with me here, too, before the surge occurred, we said they'll be out by the end of the summer. that's what the military said. the reason for that is -- >> military follows orders. trust me, there are people that are concerned about pulling out in the fighting season. >> there are people concerned but not the joint chiefs. that was their recommendation in the oval office to the president of the united states of america. i sat there. i'm sure you will find someone who disagrees with the pentagon.
i'm positive you will find that with the military. that's not the case here. secondary, the reason why the military said that is you cannot wait and have a cliff. it takes, you know, months and months and months to drawdown forces. you cannot -- >> let me illustrate the issue here because i think this can get a little confusing. we've all met with general allen and general to talk about fighting seasons. here's the way it works. the mountain pass is filling with snow. the talabani and others come over to fight our men and women. when it snows over, we can't do it. that's what we call fighting season. in the warm months, fighting gets really high, in the winter it goes down. when admiral mullen and general petraeus came to congress and said, if you pull these people out before the fighting season is ended, it puts more people at
risk. that's the problem. yes, we drew down 22,000 troops down last month. the remaining troops still there who still have the same mission to prosecute, counter insurgency is doing it with less people. that makes them less safe. sending fewer people out to the same hotspots to do the same job they were supposed to do a month ago but took 22,000 people out. >> we turned them over to the afghan troops. we trained. no one got pulled out that didn't get filled in by trained afghan personnel. he's conflating two issues. the fighting season that petraeus was talking about and former admiral mullen was the fighting season this spring. that's what he was talking about. we did not -- we did not pull them out. >> the calendar works the same every year. >> it does work the same every yea year. >> winter summer fall, it's a warm or it's not.
they're still fighting us, still coming over the passes, still coming in to zabal, to kunar, all these areas but we are sending fewer people to the front to fight them. >> that's right. that's the afghanistan responsibility. we've trained them. >> snow not not in the east. >> not in the east? >> r.c. east. >> that's the most dangerous place as well. that's why we send americans to do the job -- you'd rather americans -- >> we are already sending americans in to do the job but fewer of them. >> that's right. we're sending in more afghans to do the job -- afghans to do the job. >> let's move to another war, the civil war in syria. estimates more than 25,000, 30,000 people have now been killed. in march of last year, president obama explained the military action taken in libya saying it was in the national interest to go in and prevent further massacres from occurring there.
why doesn't the same logic apply in syria? vice president biden. >> it's a different country. a different country. it is five times as large geographically. it has one-fifth the population, that is, libya, one-fifth the population, five times as large geographically. it's in a part of the world they're not going to see whatever would come from that war seep into a regional war. you're in a country that is heavily populated, in this midst of the most dangerous area of the world and in fact if in fact it blows up and the wrong people gain control, it's going to have impact on the entire region, causing potentially regional wars. we are working hand and glove with the turk, with any jordanian, with the saudis and with all the people in the region. attempting to identify the people who deserve the help so that when assad goes, and he will go, there will be a legitimate government that follows on, not an al qaeda
sponsored government that follows on. all this loose talk of my friend, governor romney, and the congressman about how we're g g going to do -- we could do so much more in there, what more would they do other than put american boots on the ground? the last thing america needs is to get in another ground war in the middle east, requiring tens of thousands if not well over 100,000 american forces. they are the facts. they are the facts. now, every time the governor is asked about this, he doesn't say any -- ah -- he goes up with a whole lot of verbiage. when he gets pressed, he says, no, he would not do anything different than we are doing now. are they proposing putting american troops on the ground zblchbts putting american craft in the airspace? if that's what they're proposing. if they do, they should speak up and say so. that's not what they're saying. we are doing it exactly like we need to do to identify those
forces who in fact will provide for a stable government and not cause a regional sunni-shia war wh when assad falls. >> congressman ryan. >> nobody is proposing to send troops to syria, american troops. now, let me say it this way. how would we do things differently? we wouldn't refer to bass shias reformer when he's killing civilians with his russian provided weapons we wouldn't be outsourcing to the united nations give iing vietnae ining veto power. he's vetoed three of them. hillary clinton went to try to convince them not to do so. they thwarted her efforts and said she's on the wrong side of it. that's where it's not working. after international pressure
mounted, then he said assad should go and he's killed tens of thousands of people and more foreign fighters are spilling into this country. the longer this has gone on the more groups like al qaeda are going in. we could have more easily identified the free syrian army, the turks, saudi, had we had a better plan in place to begin with working through our allies. no, we waited for coffey an kofi annan to try to bring it to an end and gave russia veto power over our efforts in then u.n. and meanwhile about 30,000 syrians are dead. >> what would my friend do differently? if you notice, he never answers the question. >> we would not be going through the u.n. on all these things. >> you don't go through the u.n. we are now in the process and
have been for months making sure help, humanitarian aid as well as other aid and training is getting to those forces that we believe the turks believe, the jordanians believe, saudis believe are the free forces inside of syria. that is under way. our allies were all on the same page. nato as well as our arab allies, in terms of trying to get a settlement. that was their idea. we're the ones that said enough. with regard to the reset not working, the fact of the matter is russia has a different interest in syria than we do and that's not in our interest. >> what happens if assad does not fall? congressman ryan? what happens to the region? what happens if he hangs on, if he does? >> iran keeps the greatest ally in the region, a sponsor of terrorism and probably continue slaughtering his people. we in the world community will lose our credibility on this.
>> what would romney ryan do about that? >> we agree with the same red line they do on chemical weapons but not putting american troops in, other than to secure those chemical weapons. they're right about that. but what we should have done earlier is work with those freedom fighters, those dissidents in syria, should not have called bashir assad a reformer -- >> what's your criteria -- >> we should not have waited for russia to give us the green light at the u.n. they're still arming the man. iran is flying flights over iraq to help -- >> the opposition is being armed -- >> to help bashir assad. if we had the status of forces agreement the vice president said he would bet his vice-presidency on in iraq we probably would have been able to prevent that. he failed to achieve that as well. >> let me ask you, what's your criteria for intervention? >> in syria? >> worldwide? >> what is in the national
interests of the american people. the national interests of the american people. it has to be in the strategic interests of our country. >> no humanitarian? >> each situation will come up with its own set of circumstances but putting american troops on the ground, that's got to be within the national security interests of the american people. >> i want to reiterate, we're almost out of time. >> embargoes and sanctions and overflights, those are not putting american troops on the ground. american troops on the ground, only in our national interests. >> i want to move on and return home for these last two questions. this debate is indeed historic. we have two catholic candidates, first time on a stage such as this. i would like to ask you both to tell me what role your religion has played in your own personal views on abortion. please talk about how you came to that decision, talk about how
your religion played a part in that, and please, this is such an emotional issue for so many people in this country, please talk personally about this, if you could. congressman ryan. >> i don't see how a person can separate their public life from their private life or from their faith. our faith informs us in everything we do. my faith informs me how to take care of the vulnerable. how to make sure that people have a chance in life. now, you want to ask basically why i'm pro-life? it's not simply because of my catholic faith. that's a factor, of course. it's also because of reason and science. you know, i think about 10 1/2 years ago, my wife and i went to mercy hospital in janesville where i was born, for our 7-week ultrasound for our firstborn child and we saw that heart
beat. our little baby was in the shape of a bean. and to this day, we have nicknamed our firstborn child, liza, "bean." now, i believe that life begins at conception. that's why those are the reasons why i'm pro-life. now, i understand this is a difficult issue, and i respect people who don't agree with me on this, but the policy of a romney administration will be to oppose abortion with the exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. what troubles me more is how this administration has handled all of these issues. look at what they're doing through obama-care with respect to assaulting the religious liberties of this country. they're infridging upon our first freedom. the freedom of religion by infringing on catholic charities and catholic churches and hospitals. our catholic church should not have to sue our federal
government to infringe on the religious liberties. with respect to abortion, the democratic party used to say they want it safe, legal and e.r.a. a rare. now they support it with tack payer money. the president himself went to china and said he sympathized and wouldn't second-guess a one child policy of forced abortions and sterlizations. that, to me, is pretty extreme. >> vice president biden. >> my religion defines who i am. i've been a practicing catholic my whole life. it is particular ly informed my social doctrine. catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who can take care of themselves, people who need help. west regard to with regard to abortion, i accept my church's position on abortion as a, what
we call defete doctrine. life begins at conception, i accept it in my personal life and the church's definition. i refuse to impose it on devout christians and jews and refuse to impose it on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman. i do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that -- women they can't control their body. it's a decision between them and their doctor, in my view, and the supreme court. i'm not going to interfere with that. with regard to the assault on the catholic church. let me make it absolutely clear. no religious institution catholic or otherwise, including catholic social services, georgetown hospital, mercy hospital, any hospital, none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in
any insurance policy they provide. that is a fact. that is a fact. now, with regard to the way in which we differ, my friend says that he -- well, i guess he accepts governor romney's position now, because in the past, he has argued that there was -- there's rape and forcible rape. he's argued in the case of rape or incest, it still -- it would be a crime to engage in having an abortion. i fundamentally disagree with my friend. >> congressman ryan. >> all i'm saying is if you believe that life begins at conception, that therefore doesn't change the definition of life. that's a principle. the policy of a romney administration is to oppose abortion with exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. now, i've got to take issue with the catholic church and religious liberty. >> you have on the issue of
catholic social doctrine. >> why would they keep suing you? it's a distinction without a difference. >> i want to go back to the abortion question here. if the romney-ryan ticket is elected, should those who believe that abortion should remain legal be worried? >> we don't think that unelected judges should make this decision, that people through their elected representatives in reaching a consensus for society dre democratic process should make this determination. >> the next president will get one or two supreme court nominees. that's how close rowe v. wade is. just ask yourself. with robert bork being the chief advisor on the court for mr. romney, who do you think he's likely to appoint? do you think he's likely to appoint something like scalia or someone else on the court far right that would outlaw planned
parent -- excuse me, outlaw abortion. i guarantee you that will not happen. we pick two people. we pick people open minded. they've been good justices. keep an eye on the supreme court. >> was there a litmus test on them? >> there was no litmus test. we picked people with an open mind, did not come with an agenda. >> i will go to this closing question. we are running out of time. certainly known, you said it here tonight, the two of you respect our troops enormously. your son has served and perhaps some day your children will serve as well. i recently spoke to a highly decorated soldier who said this presidential campaign has left him dismayed. told me quote the ads are so negative and all tearing down each other rather than building up the country. what would you say to that american hero about this campaign? at the end of the day, are you ever embarrassed by the tone?
vice president biden? >> i would say to him the same thing i say to my son, who did serve a year in iraq, that we only have one truly sacred obligation as a government, that's to equip those we send into harm's way and care for those who come home. that has the only sacred obligation we have. everything else falls behind that. i would also tell him that the fact that he, this decorated soldier you talked about, fought for his country, that that should be honored. he should not be thrown into a category of the 47% who don't pay their taxes while he was out there fighting and not having to pay taxes and somehow not taking responsibility. i would also tell him that there are things that have occurred in this campaign and occur in every campaign i'm sure both of us regret any having said, particularly in these special
new groups that can go out there, raise all the money they want, not have to identify themselves and say the most skir skir -- scirrulous things about the other side. bottom line, i'd ask the hero to take a look at whether governor romney or president obama has the conviction to help lift up the middle class, restore them to where they were before this great recession hit and they got wiped out, or whether or not he's going to continue to focus on taking care of only the very wealthy, not asking them to pay any part of the deal, bring back the middle class the economy of this country. i would ask them to take a look at whether the president of the united states has acted wisely in the use of force and whether or not the slipshod comments being made by my friend -- by governor romney serve our interests very well.
but there are things that have been said in campaigns that i -- i find not very appealing. >> congressman ryan. >> first of all, i thank him to his service to our country. second of all, i say we are not going to impose these devastating cuts to our military which compromises their mission and their safety. and then i would say, you have a president who ran for president four years ago, promising hope and change, who has now turned his campaign into attack, blame and defame. you see, if you don't have a good record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone to run from. that was what president obama said in 2008, what he's doing right now. look at all the string of broken promises. if you like your health care plan you can keep it. try telling that to the 20 million people projected to lose their health insurance if obama-care goes through or 7.4 seniors who will lose. i remember when he said this, i guarantee, if you make less than
$250,000, your taxes won't go up. of the 21 tax increases in obama-care, 12 of them hit the middle class. remember when he said health insurance premiums will go down and $2500 per family per year, they've gone up $3,000 and they're expected to go up another $2400. remember when he said i promise by the end of my first term i'll cut the deficit in half in four years. wave had four budget, four trillion deficit, a debt crisis is coming. we can't keep spending and borrowing like this, we can't keep spending money we don't have. leaders run to problems to fix problems. president obama has not even put a credible plan on the table in any of his four years to deal with this debt crisis. i passed two budgets to deal with this. mitt romney put ideas on the table. we have to tackle this debt crisis before it tackles us. the president likes to say he has a plan. he gave a speech. we asked his budget office, can we see the plan? they sent to us the press
secretary. he gave us a copy of the speech. we asked the congressional budget office tell us what president obama's plan is to prevent a debt crisis. it's a speech, we can't estimate speeches. see, that's what we get in this administration speeches. mitt romney is uniquely qualified to fix these problems, his lifetime experience, proven track record of bipartisanship. what do we have from the president? he broke his biggest problem to bring people together to solve the country's biggest problems. we don't have to settle for this. >> i hope i get equal time. >> you will get a few minutes here, a few seconds, really. >> the two weath2 budgets the c introduced have eviscerated what they care about. it will knock 19 million people off medicare and kick 2,000 people off early education and eliminate the tax credit to be
able to send children to college, cuts education by $450 billion. it does virtually nothing except continue to increase the tax cuts for the very wealthy. and, you know, we've had enough of this. the idea that he's so concerned about these deficits, i pointed out, he voted to put two wars on a credit card. >> we're going to the closing statements in a minute. >> just a second. >> you will have your closing statement. >> not raising tax is not cutting taxes and by the way our budget -- 3% a year instead of 4 1/2% like they proposed. we are not spending more money like they say is not a spending cut. >> i want to talk to you very briefly before we go to closing statements. about your own personal character. if you are elected, what could you both give to this country as a man, as a human being that no one else could? >> honesty, no one else could? there are plenty of fine people who could lead this country, but what you need are people who
when they athey're going to do something they go do it. what you need are when people see problems they offer solutions to fix those problems, we're not getting that. look, we can grow this economy faster. that's what our five point plan for a stronger middle class is about, getting 12 million jobs, higher take home pay, people out of poverty into the middle class. that means going with proven pro growth policies we know work to get people back to work, putting ideas on the table, working with democrats, that actually works sometimes. >> vice president, can we get to that issue of what you can bring as a man, human being? really, i'm going to keep you to about 15 seconds. >> he gets 40 and get 15. >> he didn't have 40. >> let me tell you. i -- my record stands for itself. i never say anything i don't mean. everybody knows whatever i say i do. and my whole life has been devoted to leveling the playing field for middle class people, giving them an even break,
treating main street and wall street the same, responsibility. look at my record. it's been all about middle class, they're the people who grow this country. we think you grow this country the middle out not from the top do down. >> we now turn to the candidates for their closing statements. thank you, gentlemen. that coin toss again has vice president biden starting with the closing statement. >> let me say at the outset, i want to thank you, martha, for doing this and center college. we're in a situation where we inherited a god-awful circumstan circumstance. people are in real trouble. we acted to move to bring relief to the people who need the most help now and in the process, we -- in case you haven't noticed we have strong disagreements. you probably detected my frustration with their attitude about the american people. my friend says that 30% of the